Tips to ensure strong bones during Ramadan, follow these simple tips.

1.Ensure calcium intake: An adult requires 1000 to 1200mg of Calcium per day which is essential for healthy bones. During Ramadan, most people do not consume the required amount of calcium, resulting in the body removing the element from bones in order to maintain blood calcium levels. Dairy products are good sources of calcium so include grilled halloumi or glass of fresh laban at Iftar time.

2.Choose sensibly: With Iftar and Suhoor buffets at every nook and corner, it is easy to over eat food of the wrong sources. Juices and fizzy drinks high in sugar can be replaced with yoghurt based drinks or no sugar added milkshakes. Similarly, instead of a piling a plate high with lasagna and rice dishes – make vegetables like carrots, beans and broccoli and leafy foods like spinach the star of your plate.

3.Sun exposure: Vitamin D is essential for optimum bone health and is mainly absorbed by our body through adequate sun exposure. Prolonged lack of exposure can result in weakened bones resulting in conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

4.Exercise: The hot summer months coupled with Ramadan means a dip in energy levels. Just after Iftar, ensure you have enough fluids and engage in light cardio exercises – follow a Zumba or aerobics video or do a brisk 20 minute walk on the treadmill – and some strengthening exercises like squats, lunges, and sit-ups.

(Written by: Dr. Bhuvaneshwar Machani, consultant orthopedic surgeon, specialized in upper limb treatment, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery)